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Throughout history, societies have struggled with environmental constraints. The sharp increase in human population triggered by the indus- trial revolution also increased the scale of human impact on Earth and created a negative by-product: large-scale landscape degradation, caused by an economy that does not properly restock its key assets: the ecosystem functions it depends upon. The question is: how to make the restoration of ecosystem functions and biodiversity a flourishing part of our economy and move from the current degradation economy to a restoration economy?

This Commonland publication presents a systemic and practical approach to creating such a restoration economy. It builds upon historical and current examples from landscapes around the world. This publication is a great tool for learning about Commonland’s rationale, vision and approach to enabling thriving communities and landscapes with the 4 Returns approach.

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